When wanting something so badly clouds one’s head….
Sometimes you just have to step aside and let them learn a hard lesson. I’m not going to go much into the Todd Akin saga. I have seen a lot of harsh comments directed his way about how selfish a man he is and worse. The fact is I don’t believe Todd Akin is that kind of guy. Look at the guy’s record, his upbringing, and his steadfast conservative positions in the past. He’s a good man. I just think that he really wants to serve as a Senator in a very pivotal moment in our country’s history. Unfortunately, he screwed up in a fatal way. You can’t qualify or defend his statement. If the statement was made intentionally, he is questioning if a woman has really been raped. That was my initial interpretation when I heard his statement. If it is not, well, that tells me that you don’t think very well on your feet and don’t take too much time He has had contradicting statements in interviews he has given, refusing to answer most questions in an interview with Sean Hannity today. Invoking “running toward the gunfire” and other desperate platitudes to stay in the race just makes things worse. And the coup de grace, whining about Mitt Romney running his own race and letting Akin run his. When you take a swipe at potentially your future commander-and-chief, that is a clear signal that wanting that Senate seat to that degree has made one become delusional to the reality of the situation. The GOP establishment and the conservative base’s response has been entirely appropriate and probably wise. Asking someone who served eight years in the National Guard to abandon the mission is asking that person to go against his nature. The true test of Mr. Akin’s ability to do a very hard but right thing to do will say a lot about him. With each passing day, he loses more face. If he stays in, he’ll have to do it without any outside help, very little money, and McCaskill running ads non-stop of prominent GOP names calling for him to exit the race.
All is not lost
The Senate is very much in play still. Via Ace of Spades, here is a very good run down on where things stand:
- Missouri is gone. I believe that McCaskill is probably up by 5 right now if reasonable turnout models are used. If Akin stays through to the bitter end, the seat is lost.
- Maine is probably gone as well. Angus King won’t say whom he will caucus with but it is a good bet we know who it will be. He doesn’t want to link himself to Obama in any way.
- Brown has made a big move, pulling into a 5 point lead over Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts per Daily Kos poster PPP. Dean Heller will hold the Nevada seat against scandal ridden Shelley Berkley. Richard Mourdock will hold against Obamacare supporter Jim Donnelly.
- Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin are as close to sure GOP pickups as you can imagine. This puts the GOP at the magical 50 seat mark.
- Virginia is clearly a toss-up between Tim Kaine and George Allen. Allen is going to have to slam Kaine’s pro-Obamacare statements in advertising. Turnout will be key here but Romney’s coattails could prove big.
- Florida is interesting. Given the success of Romney/Ryan turning the Obamacare/Medicare raid back on the Democrats, Connie Mack will very likely use this line of attack against Nelson. I really like Mack’s chances here.
- Michigan and Ohio. Michigan??? You heard me right. According to a Democratic pollster (at least this pollster is affiliated with Democrats according to Real Clear Politics), the selection of Paul Ryan to be Mitt’s running mate is paying off huge not only in Wisconsin, but also in Michigan. Aside from Romney holding a 48-44 lead, Pete Hoekstra holds a 48-46 lead over Debbie Stabenow. Apparently the GOP SuperPACs are starting to take it to Stabenow. I don’t see any partisan breakdown but the pollster is based out of the Detroit area. Scott Walker and Paul Ryan have scheduled visits there this week. This is a good indication that the Romney camp believes there is movement there in a good way. Regarding Ohio, Josh Mendel is in a dead tie with Sherrod Brown, 44-44.
- New Mexico and Hawaii. These are the long shots. However, Heather Wilson and Linda Lingle do have a decent chance of pulling off the upsets there.
The GOP has a realistic shot right now at 54 seats with 56 seats being their absolute topline assuming no other safely Democratic seats are fumbled away.
Probably the important thing to do now regarding the Romney campaign is to get back on message regarding jobs, the economy, and hammering the Obamacare/Medicare raid. The Akin matter has been addressed. The MSM will desperately try to keep it alive whenever any GOP candidates are interviewed. The standard response should be “This has been addressed we have made our positions clear. We will not discuss this any further.” Short and to the point. Of course the MSM will prod but I’m sure any GOP candidate will move along the questioning to other issues…like Obama. Time to get back to business.